To prepare for an expected increase in pharmaceutical and high-tech air cargo traffic in the Southeast Asian region, DHL Supply Chain has opened a new logistics center in Singapore that the company said will improve the efficiency of its current operations by 20 percent. The design, DHL said, will be considered a model for its future expansions in densely settled urban areas.
Called the Advanced Regional Center (ARC), the new 90,000-square-foot Singapore facility features advanced robotics and increased the warehousing footprint on the island nation by 40 percent. DHL will use 130 robotic shuttles to retrieve and store products from up to 72,000 locations arranged in 26 levels.
“We see the Asian region as a swift adopter of technologies for enhanced productivity and efficiency,” said Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL Group. “By 2020, Asia will constitute 30 percent of our total revenue.” Facilities like the ARC, he added, will help DHL reduce complexity, while it improves accuracy and productivity.
In addition, the ARC includes “clean rooms” for the storage and handling of life sciences and healthcare-related shipments. There will also be specialized infrastructure for aerospace operations and customizable storage options for various high-tech customers.
DHL’s move comes a few months after Kuehne + Nagel opened its own pharma-friendly facility in January – a 164,000-square-foot logistics hub in west Singapore, located near the country’s pharmaceutical and healthcare centers. The new facility, K+N said, will be large enough to serve its clients across the ASEAN countries.